Have you ever heard someone say that they have your back? Meaning: they are looking out for you, and that they are there for you no matter what. “I have your back” is a commitment and a promise. A promise that someone else is by your side, walking through whatever life throws your way.
Many times in my life, I have been told that people have my back. Sometimes this was true and sometimes it was not. I could tell whether it was true or not by the way things panned out. If someone really “had my back”, they were a true friend and they stuck with me no matter how hard things got. They supported me, no matter how wrong I really was. They would tell me that they disagreed with me (if I was wrong…and sometimes…I was wrong), but I knew that they would be with me through the thick and thin.
Two weekends ago, on BCC Youth Group’s annual Good Tidings retreat, I was blessed by the way people had my back…
I had been planning my lesson that I would be giving the kids at Good Tidings for weeks. I was excited about it and knew that God gave me some good things to teach the kids about. In fact, I don’t recall being that excited about a lesson in a long time. I was to teach on Saturday afternoon and I could not wait. Friday night, we played Gargon (which we all know is one of our youth’s favorite games), and I felt great. I was excited about the weekend to come. I was excited about what God was going to do that weekend. And did I mention that I was excited? Everything flowed smoothly that night. We were even successful at getting the kids in bed by 1:00 AM (which is often unheard of when you are on a retreat with a bunch of middle school and high school kids). I slept great that night. However, as soon as I woke up on Saturday, I felt as if I had been hit by a bus. My head was congested, I was freezing cold, my head was pounding, and I could not get my nose to quit running for more than thirty seconds. I was sick!!!
My “cold” progressively got worse as the day went on. After lunch, which is when I was supposed to teach my lesson, I got nauseous and felt like I was going to pass out. As I sat near the doorway (where all the cold, fresh air was), I was franticly praying that God would “get my back” and heal me…even if it was only until I was done teaching. I even said, “I don’t care if I’m deathly ill for the rest of the weekend, just give me this next hour or so to teach what You gave me to teach these kids!” But I soon found out that God had different plans. He always seems to have different plans…doesn’t He?
As I was sitting by that door, my girlfriend came up to me and could tell that I was extremely out of it. She also knows that I am stubborn at times and that I rarely ask for help…even if I strongly need it. She told me that I needed to ask Dan or Dave (two of the other youth pastors that were there) if they could give their lesson in my slot and let me go later that night…after I was able to get some rest. But, being the stubborn person that I am, I refused to ask for help. She however, knew what needed to be done. She “had my back” and took matters into her own hands. She went to talk to Dan and Dave and told them that I wasn’t looking too good and that I needed to rest. A few minutes later, they all came over to talk to me. They did what friends do. They gave me a hard time at first, but soon after…they told me (not in these exact words) that they “had my back!” They said that they would take care of my lesson for me and that I could go back to the dorm and rest. This is what true friend do. This is what happens when people “have your back!” In the corporate world, if you are sick and you can’t get your work done, you are out of luck. But in youth ministry, you have brothers, sisters, and friends who will “get your back!”
I couldn’t understand why God gave me that lesson and allowed me to be excited about it, only to have me not teach it. I don’t know why I was only sick for half of the day. I still don’t know, and I may never. And that’s ok with me; because I know that God “had my back” that day and He knew what was best for me.
The famous painting called “Footprints in the Sand” is an excellent depiction of God having our back. We look back at life and see one set of footprints and think that God left us during the tough times; during the trials. But it is during those times that God carried us and “had our back!”
So, I leave you with the question I began this article with: Who has your back?